The Nordic Spa in Montréal is where secrets go to die. The woman on the porch in the snow, her bikini under her fur coat, is smoking a cigarette. She’s done the hot soak and may even plunge her wrinkled middle-aged body into the cold pool for its healthful benefits but must first take a break outdoors in the 15-degree weather to smoke. 15 degrees Fahrenheit is -9 Celsius, but of little concern to a smoker. Her lipstick marks the filter of the cigarette as she takes another long pull. …


The day after the insurrection, all I could think about was ladybugs. Ladybug, ladybug fly away home, your house is on fire and your children will burn. And I kept wondering why I’m thinking about ladybugs. Why would the ladybug leave her children home alone? If the house is on fire, it’s probably not a good idea to go back inside. But if the kids are in there…dammit. If the actual documents that certify the election are in the house, that bug better get off her ass and grab them quick before this whole shit house goes up in flames.


Social distancing was difficult at the demonstration in Burlington. I almost didn’t go because of it. Gathering in large groups during a pandemic is irresponsible. I did not want to give the Lake of the Ozarks pool partiers any fodder to use against the Black Lives Matter movement. And I was scared. I am pretty sure I already had COVID-19 in early March, but I did not want to risk the possibility of getting it again and shedding it to my husband or to my closest neighbor who works as a cook in a retirement community.

But I went anyway…


I was immediately reminded of a situation in the film The Mission…

I was on a yoga retreat in the Dominican Republic. What could possibly go wrong? Yoga, snorkeling, surfing, amazing food, fruity rum drinks in coconut shells, sunny breezes…Everything had the magical glow of a slick magazine ad. I signed up for one of the off-site excursions: the waterfalls trip. 27 Charcos.

Anyone I’d spoken to about the DR said, “Oh, you must do the waterfalls!” OK! Waterfalls it is. Maximo and Carlos picked up the ten of us at the resort in their matching Toyota minivans and off we went to 27 Charcos. We chugged through Sosua to Puerto Plata…


The shame I felt in telling is the shame she feels in not telling.

I did not expect the outpouring of support the publication of my rape story generated. It was published online and later picked up by my local weekly paper. Seeing it in print, in an actual newspaper, was a shock I also did not expect. Neither did I expect hugs (not unwanted) from grateful well-wishers at the grocery store, the library …

But the most surprising response so far has been from women who have not told their stories. Their comment to me has often been: “You are so courageous; I am not there yet.” My response has been: “You’ll do…


Undertow…

Wednesday, just five days ago, I saw my rapist in town in the middle of the construction on Pine Street. I hadn’t seen him since he raped me. He did not see me, or at least I don’t think he saw me. But the rape happened so long ago, he might not recognize me or even remember that it happened.

I was a freshman in high school on a double date with my sister. We went with older guys so that we could get into the dance club. My sister is older than me, her date was David Wildblood or…

C. Jane Taylor

Writer/Biker. I wake with words in my head. I write as I ride, spy on birds, cook, walk. I write blog posts, resumes, bios, love letters... jane@cjanetaylor.com

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